As the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) evidentiary hearing entered its second day, several expert witnesses, including grain analyst Elaine Kub and former Energy Information Administration (EIA) Administrator Guy Caruso, stressed the vital role that Dakota Access would play in increasing the efficiency of the transportation networks in Iowa and the Midwest in general. Shifting the responsibility of transporting a significant amount of oil away from railroads and trucks would create opportunities for other items to utilize these vital transportation options, such as grain and other agricultural products.
Evidence that pipelines create these kinds of efficiencies was reported in this morning’s press in North Dakota. Amy Dalrymple, a prominent reporter in the state, wrote an article describing the shift of crude oil away from truck-based transportation and towards a steadily expanding web of gathering pipelines. The article states:
More oil is now gathered by pipeline than truck in western North Dakota, taking pressure off Oil Patch communities faced with congestion, traffic fatalities and dust.
“New figures from the North Dakota Pipeline Authority show that for the first time in several years, more oil is leaving well sites by pipeline, and that trend is expected to continue, Director Justin Kringstad said.
“We’ve seen some significant progress in the major counties in western North Dakota getting crude off the roadways and into gathering pipeline systems,” Kringstad said.
The article noted that all but one county has seen a reduction of oil traffic on their roadways, and North Dakota Pipeline Authority Director Justin Kringstad reiterated that, “there’s a lot of advantages that we see in getting these fluids off the roadways and into a pipeline.”
Amy Dalrymple also stated that the oil in these gathering lines was carried to transmission lines or rail hubs in anticipation for transport. Projects like Dakota Access however, can and will ensure that the process is streamlined further, allowing more trucks and trains to be used for other vital purposes throughout the region.
Read the full article here.